Short Story: Tiny, Smiling Daddy
Collection: Because They Wanted To
Author: Mary Gaitskill
I l-o-v-e-d Gaitskill's writing! I hadn't read anything by her before and was instantly surprised. It's not that I was expecting something else or bad. It was just that I've mostly heard of Gaitskill's book, Bad Behavior. So, silly me thought I wouldn't like any other book by her? I don't know.
Let's move on.
The story I read was just realistically heartbreaking. The story is about a father who is made to remember interactions with his "rebel" daughter after learning that she's written a magazine article about him. The story deals mostly with the father's anxieties toward finding out what his daughter has written about him. While he's waiting for his wife to come back with their car so he can hunt down the magazine, he thinks back to how much his daughter has changed throughout the years. First as the sweet young child who loved her father's jokes to the rebellious individual he knows her as in present day.
I found the story heartbreaking because the father is basically chronologically placing the memories of how he emotionally lost his daughter as the years went by. The last paragraph of this story is definitely painful.
Painful, but beautifully written. Involves LGBT issues.